Skip to main content

Full text of "On Overcoming the Cult of the Individual and Its Consequences: A Resolution of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union"

See other formats





A Resolution of the 
Central Committee of the 
Communist Party of the Soviet Union 


354 Stewart Street 
Ottawa — Canada 



The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the 
Soviet Union notes with satisfaction that the decisions of the 
historic 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet 
Union met with the complete approval and warm support of 
our whole Party, of the entire Soviet people, the fraternal com- 
munist and workers' parties, the working people of the great 
community of socialist cotintries, and millions of people in capi- 
talist and colonial countries. This is understandable, since the 
20th Congress of the Party, marking a new stage in the creative 
development of Marxism-Leninism, gave a profound analysis 
of the present situation at home and abroad, armed the Com- 
munist Party and the entire Soviet people with a magnificent 
plan of further struggle for building Communism, opened up 
new’ perspectives for joint activity by all w’orking-class parties for 
averting the threat of a new’ war, for the interests of the work- 
ing people. 

Working to carry out the decisions of the 20th Congress of 
the C.P.S.U. the Soviet people under the leadership of the 
Communist Party are achieving fresh outstanding successes in 
all spheres of the political, economic, and cultural life of the 
country. The Soviet people have rallied still closer around the 
Communist Party and are displaying a high degree of creative 
activity in w’orking to fulfill the tasks set by the 20th Congress. 

At the same time the period that has elapsed since the Con- 
gress has show r n the great vital force its decisions have for the 
international communist and labour movement, for the struggle 
of all progressive forces for strengthening world peace. The 
important theoretical concepts of a principled nature advanced 
by the Congress on the peaceful coexistence of states with 
different social systems, on the possibility of preventing w r ar in 
the present epoch, and on the diversity of forms of the transition 
of countries to Socialism, are having a beneficial influence upon 
the international situation and are facilitating the relaxation of 
tension, the strengthening of unity of action of all forces fighting 
for peace and democracy, and are further consolidating the 
l>ositions of the world system of Socialism. 


While the historic decisions of the 20th Congress of the 
C.P.S.U. have evoked great enthusiasm and a fresh upsurge of 
creative initiative and revolutionary energy among the Soviet 
people, among the working people of the People’s Democracies 
and throughout the world, in tlte camp of the enemies of the 
working class they have engendered alarm and animosity. The 
reactionary circles ot the I’.S.A. and certain other capitalist 
powers are clearly disquieted at the great programme of struggle 
for the consolidation of peace outlined by the 20th Congress of 
the C.P.S.l . Their disquiet is mounting as this programme is 
being carried out actively and consistently. 

Why are the enemies of Communism and Socialism con- 
centrating their fire on the shortcomings pointed out bv the 
Central Committee of our Party at the 20th Congress of the 
C.P.S.U.? They are doing this to divert the attention of the 
working class and its parties from the imiin questions which were 
advanced at the 20th Congress of the Party and which pave 
the way for fresh successes in the cause of peace. Socialism and 
working-class unity. 

The decisions of the 20th Congress of the Partv, and the 
home and foreign policy of the Soviet Government have sown 
contusion among imperialist circles in the U.S.A. and other states. 

T l,e U-S.S.R.’s courageous and consistent foreign policy ol 
ensuring peace and co-operation among states, regardless of their 
social system, meets with the support of the broad masses in all 
countries of the world; it extends the front of peaceful states 
and gives rise to a protound crisis in the “cold war” police die 
policy of forming military blocs, the policv of the arms race It 
is not fortuitous that the greatest hue and cry about the struggle 
against the cult ot the individual in the U.S.S.R. was raised In- 
imperialist circles in the L.S.A. The existence of negative aspects 
associated with the colt ot the individual was to ihelr advance 

Vow •fen? ,he *>*• Socialism.' 

-Now that our I arty is courageously overcoming the consequences 

o the cult ot the individual, the imperialists regard this as a 
factor accelerating the advance of our country to Communism, 
and weakening the jiositions of capitalism. 

the decisionT d of 'Z r the g ? at force of attraction of 

the decisions of the 20th Congress of the C.P.S.U and their 

influence upon the broad masses, the ideologists of capitalism are 

IZnt '" S f° i 3 S °? S of tncks an(l machinations to divert the 
attention of the working people from the progressive and inspiring 
ideas placed before mankind by the socialist world. P g 


A big anti-Soviet slander campaign has been launched recent- 
ly in the bourgeois press and reactionary circles are trying to 
utilize, as a pretext for this campaign, certain facts connected 
with the cult of J. V. Stalin which has been condemned by the 
Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The organizers of this 
campaign are doing everything they can to obscure the situation, 
to conceal the fact that this is a stage that is past and gone in 
the life of the Soviet Union; they also want to hush up and 
distort the fact that in the years since Stalin’s death the Com- 
munist Party of the Soviet Union and the Soviet Government 
have been eradicating the consequences of the cult of the indi- 
vidual with the greatest consistency and resoluteness, and that 
they are successfully carrying out new tasks in the interests of 
consolidating peace and building Communism, in the interests of 
the broad masses of the people. 

In developing their slander campaign, the bourgeois ideolo- 
gists are vainly trying once more to vilify the great ideas of 
Marxism-Leninism, to undermine the- confidence of the working 
people in the first country of Socialism in the world — the 
U.S.S.R. — and to sow confusion in the ranks of the international 
communist and labour movement. experience tells as that the enemies of the international 
unity of the proletariat have on many occasions attempted to use 
what they considered to be advantageous moments to undermine 
the international unity of the communist and workers’ parties, 
to split the international labour movement and weaken the forces 
of the socialist camp. But each time, the communist and workers’ 
parties forestalled the manoeuvres of the enemies of Socialism 
and closed their ranks still more, demonstrating their unbreak- 
able, political unity, their unflinching loyalty to the ideas of 

The fraternal communist and workers’ parties exposed in 
good time this manoeuvre of the enemies of Socialism, too, and 
are giving it the rebuff it deserves. At the same time it would 
he wrong to shut one’s eyes to the fact that some of our friends 
abroad have not fully understood the problem of the cult of the 
individual and its consequences, and at times make erroneous 
interpretations of certain aspects of this cult. 

In its criticism of the cult of the individual, the Party 
proceeds on the basis of the principles of Marxism-Leninism. 
For more than three years our Party has been consistently fight- 
ing against the cult of J. V. Stalin, persistently overcoming its 
harmful consequences. This question, naturally, took a pro- 


minent place in the work of the 20th Congress of the C.P.S.U. 
and in its decisions. The Congress noted that the Central Com- 
mittee had taken perfectly correct and timely action against the 
cult of the individual, the spread of which meant a belittling of 
the role of the Party and the masses, led to an underestimation 
of the role of collective leadership in the Party and on many 
occasions to serious shortcomings in work and gross violations 
of socialist law. The Congress instructed the Central Committee 
to take consistent measures to ensure the complete overcoming 
of the cult of the individual, so alien to Marxism-Leninism, the 
eradication of its consequences in all the spheres of Party, 
state and ideological work, and the strict observance of the rules 
of Party life and the principles of collective Party leadership 
worked out by the great Lenin. 

In its struggle against the cult of the individual, the Party 
is guided by the well-known teachings of Marxism-Leninism 
concerning the role of the masses, the Party and the individual 
in history, concerning the Impermissibility of the cult of a poli- 
tical leader, no matter how great his merits. Karl Marx, the 
founder of scientific Communism, emphasising his dislike “for 
even* cult of the individual”, said that his and Frederick Engels’ 
initiation into the society of communists “was made subject to 
the condition that everything contributing to the superstitious 
genuflexion before authorities would l>e erased from the Charter.” 
(K. Marx and F. Engels, Works, Volume 26, Russian edition 
1, pp. 487-488.) 

In building our Communist Party, V. I. Lenin fought un- 
compromisingly against the anti-Marxist concept of “the hero” 
and “the crowd” and resolutely condemned the counterposing of 
a single hero to the masses. “The intellect of scores of millions 
of creators”, V. I. Lenin said, “gives something which is im- 
measurably higher than the greatest foresight of the genius”. 
(Works, Vol. 26, Russian edition, page 431). 

Advancing the question of the fight against the cult of the 
individual in relation to J. V. Stalin, the Central Committee of 
the C.P.S.U. proceeded from the fact that the cult of the indi- 
vidual was in contradi tion to the very nature of the socialist 
system and was becoming a hindrance to the development of 
socialist democracy and the advance of Soviet society to Com- 

On the initiative of the Central Committee, the 20th Con- 
gress of the Party found it necessary to speak openly and boldly 
alx>ut the serious consequences of the cult of the individual, 


about the grave mistakes which were made during the last 
period of Stalin’s life and to call upon the whole Party to make 
a common effort to eliminate all that the cult of the indiv.dual 
had entailed. In doing this, the Central Committee was aware 
that a frank acknowledgement of mistakes made would be some- 
what disadvantageous and damaging and that our enemies cou < 
turn all this to account. The hold and merciless self-criticism 
concerning the cult of the individual was another clear manifes- 
tation of the strength and firmness of our Party and the Soviet 
socialist system. It can be said with certainty that no ruling 
party in any capitalist country could ever take the risk of such 
a step. On the contrary, they would try to hush up such 
unpleasant facts and conceal them from the people. But the Com- 
munist Party of the Soviet Union, brought up on the revolu- 
tionarv principles of Marxism-Leninism, told the whole truth, 
no matter how bitter it was. The Party took this step solely 
on its own initiative, being guided by considerations ot principle. 

It proceeded on the assumption that if the action against the 
cult of Stalin did give rise to certain temporary difficulties, never- 
theless, from the point of view of the fundamental interests 
and ultimate goals of the working class, it would, in the long 
run, yield a tremendous positive result. Thus there are firm 
guarantees that never again in our Party or in our country can 
anything like the cult of the individual appear, and that the Lead- 
ership of the Partv and the country will in future be carried 
out collectively on the basis of a Marxist-Leninist policy, in con- 
ditions of broad inner-Party democracy, with the active creative 
participation of millions of working people and with the all- 
round development of Soviet democracy. 

By resolutely opposing the cult of the individual and its 
consequences and openly criticising the mistakes engendered by 
it, the Party once again manifested its loyalty to the immortal 
principles of Marxism-Leninism, its devotion to the inteiests of 
the people, its concern that the best possible conditions be created 
for the development of Party and Soviet democracy in the inter- 
ests of the successful construction of Communism in our 

The Central Committee of the C.P.S.U. notes that in Party 
organisations and at general meetings of working people, Party 
members and non-Party people took a most active part in the 
discussion on the cult of the individual and its consequences, 
and that the line of the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U. met 
with the complete approval and support of the Party members 
and the entire people. 


The facts about the violation of socialist law and other 
mistakes connected with the cult of J. V. Stalin, which were 
made public by the Party, naturally evoke feelings of bitterness 
and profound regret. However, the Soviet people understand 
that the condemnation of the cult of the individual was necessary 
in the interests of building Communism, in which they are 
active participants. The Soviet [>eople see that in recent years 
the Party has taken consistent practical steps to eradicate the 
consequences of the cult of the individual in all spheres of Party, 
state, economic, and cultural development. As a result of this 
work the Party, whose internal forces are no longer fettered 
in any way, has come still closer to the people and is now in a 
state of unprecedented creative activity. 


How could the cult of Stalin, with all its negative conse- 
quences. originate and spread under the Soviet socialist system? 

In analysing this question, one has to bear in mind the 
objective, concrete historical conditions in which socialist con- 
struction took place in the U.S.S.R. and, also, certain subjective 
factors connected with Stalin’s personal qualities. 

The October Socialist Revolution has gone down in history 
as a classic example of the revolutionary transformation of capi- 
talist society carried out under the leadership of the working 
class. 1 he Communist parties of other countries and all progres- 
sive and democratic forces learn from the heroic struggle of the 
Bolshevik Party, of the first socialist state in the world — the 
U.S.S.R. — how to solve fundamental social questions of the pres- 
ent-day development of society. Throughout the almost 40 years 
of the building of socialist society by the working people of our 
country great experience has been accumulated, which is studied 
and creatively applied by the working people of other socialist 
countries in accordance with their concrete conditions. 

This was the first experience in history of building a socialist 
society, which was formed in the process of seeking solutions, 
of trying out in practice many concepts previously known to 
socialists only in general outline, in theory. For more than a 
quarter of a century the Soviet Union was the only country 
paving mankind’s way forward to Socialism. It was like a belea- 
guered fortress encircled by capitalism. 


After the failure of the intervention by 14 states in 1918- 
1920, the enemies of the Soviet country in the West and in 
the East continued to prepare new “crusades” against the 
U.S.S.R. They smuggled into the U.S.S.R. great numbers of 
spies and saboteurs, trying by all possible means to undermine 
the first socialist state in the world. I he threat of a fresh 
imperialist act of aggression against the U.S.S.R. grew partic- 
ularly with the rise to power of fascism in Hermany in 1933, 
which proclaimed as its goal the destruction of Communism, the 
destruction of the Soviet Union— the first working people’s state 
in the world. Everybody remembers the establishment of the 
so-called “anti-Comintern pact,” and the “ Berlin- Rome- J okyo 
axis.” which were actively supported by all forces of international 
reaction. With the growing threat of a new war and the West- 
ern Powers’ rejection of measures repeatedly put forward by 
the Soviet Union for curbing fascism and organizing collective 
security, the Soviet country was forced to exert all its efforts 
to strengthen its defence capacity and to combat the schemes 
of the hostile capitalist countries encircling it. The Party had 
to educate the people in a spirit of constant vigilance and pre- 
|)aredness in the face of enemies outside the country. 

The schemes of international reaction were all the more 
dangerous since a bitter class struggle had been waged within 
the country over a long period. The question of “Who will 
win?” was being decided. With Lenin’s death, the supporters of 
hostile trends within the Party became more active. They were 
the Trotskyists, right-wing opportunists, and bourgeois national- 
ists, who advocated the abandonment of Lenin’s theory of the 
possibility of the victory of Socialism in one country, which in 
fact would have led to the restoration of capitalism in the 
U.S.S.R. The Party launched a ruthless struggle against these 
enemies of Leninism. 

Following Lenin’s behests, the Communist Party took the 
course of. carrying through the socialist industrialization of the 
country, the collectivization of agriculture and the cultural revo- 
lution.' In fulfilling these immense tasks of building a socialist 
society within one country on its own, the Soviet people and the 
Communist Party had to overcome enormous difficulties and 
obstacles. In a very brief period of history, without any external 
economic assistance, our country had to throw off its centuries- 
old backwardness and put its whole national economy on to a 
new socialist footing. 

This difficult international and internal situation required 
iron discipline, a tireless heightening of vigilance, and the strict- 


est centralization of leadership, which could not but have a 
negative effect upon the development of some forms of demo- 
cracy. In the course of bitter struggle against the whole world 
of imperialism our country had to make certain restrictions on 
democracy, which were justified by the logics of our people's 
struggle for Socialism in conditions of capitalist encirclement. 
However, even then these restrictions were regarded by the 
Party and the people as temporary ones, which would have to 
be eliminated as the Soviet state grew stronger and the forces of 
democracy and Socialism developed throughout the world, lhe 
people knowingly made these temporary sacrifices, watching the 
Soviet socialist system making more and more progress day by 

All these difficulties along the road of socialist construction 
were overcome by the Soviet people under the leadership of the 
Communist Party and its Central Committee which consistently 
followed Lenin’s general line. 

The victory of Socialism in our country, in conditions of 
hostile encirclement and under constant threat of attack from 
without, was a historic achievement of the Soviet people, one 
of world significance. During the first five-year plans, the 
economically backward country made a giant leap forward in 
its economic and cultural development as a result of tremendous 
and heroic efforts made by the people and the Party. On the 
basis of the progress made in socialist construction, the living 
standards of the working people were raised and unemployment 
was done away with for ever. The country experienced a far- 
reaching cultural revolution. In a brief space of time, the 
Soviet people developed numerous cadres of technicians and 
engineers who were up to the level of world technical develop- 
ment and gained for Soviet science and technology one of the 
first places in the world. The great Party of Communists was 
the inspirer and organizer of these victories. From the example 
of the U.S.S.R., the working people of the whole World saw 
that the workers and peasants, having taken power into their 
own hands, could successfully build and develop their socialist 
state without the capitalists and landlords, expressing and defend- 
ing the interests of the broad mass of the people. All this played a 
tremendous and inspiring role in increasing the influence of the 
communist and workers' parties in all countries of the world. 

As General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Com- 
munist Party over a long period, J. V. Stalin, together with 
other leaders, worked actively to carry out Lenin’s behests. He 


was devoted to Marxism-Leninism and as a theoretician and a 
g^t organizer headed the struggle of the Party agains t he 
Trotskyists right-wing opportunists, and bourgeois nationalists, 

Ai st he intrigues of the capitalist powers encircling the Sov- 
S Union In this political and ideological struggle Stalin won 
gL.^s.ige and &»hrh,, However all our great v,c or.ea 
began to he erroneously associated with his name T1 jc v‘rt°nes 
achieved by the Communist Party and the Soviet Union and 
the eulogies addressed to Stalin turned his head. was 
situation that the cult of Stalin gradually took shape. 

The development of the cult of the individual was to a great 
extent facilitated by certain individual qualities of J. T •=>»“»• 
the negative nature of which had been pointed out by V. I. 
U 0 ” 8 Tow.“s .he .lose of 1922, Unin addressed a le.ter ,0 

the Party Congress saying: — 

‘•After becoming General Secretary, Comrade Stalin accu- 
mulated in his hand's immeasurable power, and I a ” l " ot certa "\ 
whether he will always be able to use this power with the require 
fare ’’ In a further letter, written at the beginning of January 
[923 V. 1. Lenin again returned to certain of Stalins persona 
qualities which were intolerable in 

loyMy “read kindZss and a more CO ns, derate alidade to Ike 
comrades, a Jess capricious temper, etc. 

At the 13th Congress of the Party held shortly after V I. 
i . , , t i i • letters were brought to the notice of the dele 

' e tion S S As ’-i result of the discussion on these documents, it 


Remaining in the position of General Secretary of the Cen- 

± z s ^:~ surtC: rir'cemin 

Stalls in Inner-Party and Soviet democracy, whtch had been 


unavoidable during the bitter struggle against the class enemy 
and its agents and subsequently during the war against the Ger- 
man fascist invaders, the rule of inner-Party and state life, 
grossly violating Lenin’s principles of leadership. The plenary 
meetings of the Central Committee and the Party Congresses 
were held irregularly and then for many years were not con- 
vened at all. Stalin, in fact, was above criticism. 

Great harm to the cause of socialist construction and to 
the development of democracy within the Party and the state 
was inflicted by an erroneous formula of Stalin’s which alleged 
that as the Soviet Union advanced to Socialism, the class struggle 
would grow sharper and sharper. This formula, correct only 
for certain stages of the transition period when the question at 
issue was “Who will win?”, when a stuhlx>rn class struggle was 
being waged for building the foundations of Socialism, was 
brought to the fore in 1937, at a time when Socialism had 
triumphed in our country, when the exploiting classes and their 
economic basis had l>een eliminated. In practice, this erroneous 
theoretical formula served as a justification for gross violation 
of socialist law and mass acts of repression. 

It was in these conditions that a special position was created 
for the organs of state security, in particular, which enjoyed 
great confidence because of their undoubted services to the peo- 
ple and the countrv in defending the achievements of the revolu- 
tion. For a long time the organs of state security justified that 
confidence, and their special position aroused no danger. Things 
changed when instead of these organs being controlled by the 
Party and the Government, personal control bv Stalin was grad- 
ually substituted, while his personal decisions often replaced the 
usual administration of justice. The situation became still 
graver when the criminal gang of Beria, the agent of interna- 
tional imperialism, appeared at the head of the organs of state 
security. There were gross violations of Soviet law and mass 
acts oi repression. As a result of the enemy intrigues, many 
honest Communists and non-Party Soviet people were slandered 
and suffered innocently. 

The 20th Congress of the Party and the entire policy of 
the Central Committee since Stalin’s death clearly prove that 
there was in being a Leninist core of leaders within the Central 
Committee, who had a correct understanding of the pressing 
requirements in the spheres of home and foreign policy. It can- 
not be said that there was no opposition to the negative pheno- 
mena associated with the cult of the individual which hindered 


the advance of Soicalism. Moreover, there were certain periods, 
as for example during the war, when the unilateral acts of 
Stalin were sharply restricted, when the negative consequences 
of lawlessness, of arbitrary rule, etc., were materially weakened. 

It is known that it was during the war that members of 
the Central Committee and also outstanding Soviet military com- 
manders took into their hands certain spheres of activity in the 
rear and at the front, took independent decisions, and by their 
organizational, political, economic and military work jointly with 
local Party and Soviet organizations ensured victory for the 
Soviet people in the war. After the victory, the negative con- 
sequences of the cult of the individual began to make themselves 
felt again with great force. 

Immediately after the death of Stalin, the Leninist core of 
the Central Committee took the line of decisive struggle against 
the cult of the individual and its grave consequences. A ques- 
tion may arise : why was it that these same people did not openly 
come out against Stalin and remove him from leadership? In 
the existing conditions this was impossible. There is no doubt 
that the facts show Stalin to have been guilty of many lawless 
acts, particularly in the final period of his life. At the same 
time it should not be forgotten that the Soviet peoples knew 
Stalin as a man who always came out in defence of the U.S.S.R. 
against enemy intrigues and fought for the cause of Socialism. 
At times in this struggle he employed unworthy methods and 
violated Lenin’s principles and rules of Party life. Herein lay 
Stalin’s tragedy. However, the total effect of all this was to 
handicap the struggle against the lawless acts which were then 
being perpetrated, since the successes of socialist construction, 
of the consolidation of the U.S.S.R. were in the existing con- 
ditions of the cult of the individual ascribed to Stalin. 

Any opposition to Stalin in those conditions would not 
have been understood by the people, and the question here is by 
no means one of lack of personal courage. It is clear that any- 
one coming out against Stalin in this situation would not have 
had the support of the people. Moreover, in the circumstances, 
any such action would have been regarded as an act against the 
cause of socialist construction, as something extremely danger- 
ous in conditions of capitalist encirclement, undermining the unity 
of the Party and the entire state. Moreover, the successes 
acomplished by the working people of the Soviet Union under 
the leadership of their Communist Party had instilled legitimate 
pride into the heart of every Soviet man and created an atmos- 
phere in which individual mistakes and shortcomings seemed less 


significant against the background of tremendous successes, while 
the negative consequences of these mistakes were swiftly com- 
pensated for by the colossal growth of the vital forces of the 
Party and Soviet society. 

It should also be borne in mind that many facts and incor- 
rect actions by Stalin, particularly as regards violation of Soviet 
law, became known only recently, after Stalin’s death, mainly 
in connection with the exposure of Beria s gang and the estab- 
lishment of Party control over the state security organs. 

These are the main conditions and causes which led to the 
origin and spread of the cult of Stalin. Naturally this explains, 
but in no way justifies, the cult of Stalin and its consequences, 
which have been so sharply and justly condemned by our Party. 


There is no doubt that the cult of the individual inflicted 
serious damage to the cause of the Communist Party and Soviet 
society. However, it would be a great mistake to conclude that 
the existence of the cult of the individual in the past has led 
to any changes in the social system of the U.S.S.R. or to see 
the origin of this cult in the nature of the Soviet social system. 
Both attitudes are absolutely wrong since they do not corres- 
pond to reality, they contradict the facts. 

Despite all the evil it did to the Party and the people, the 
cult of Stalin could not and did not change the nature of our 
social system. No cult of the individual could change the nature 
of the socialist state, which is based upon the alliance of the 
working class and the peasantry, and the friendship of peoples, 
though this cult did do serious damage to the development of 
socialist demo racy, to the development of the creative initiative 
of millions of people. 

To think that any individual, even so great a one as Stalin, 
could change our social and political system is to go completely 
against the facts, against Marxism and truth, to lapse into ideal- 
ism. It would mean attributing to an individual such abnormal 
and supernatural forces as the ability to change the system of 
society, especially of a social system where the decisive force 
lies in the millions-strong masses of the working people. 

As is known, the nature of a social and political system is 
determined by the mode of production, by ownership of the 
means of production, bv the class which holds the political power. 


"i'lie entire world knows that as a result of the October 
Revolution and the victory of Socialism, the socialist system of 
production was established in our country, that power has been 
in the hands of the working class and the peasantry for almost 
40 years now. This is why the Soviet social system becomes 
stronger year by year, why its productive forces grow. Even 
our ill-wishers cannot help acknowledging this fact. 

The consequences of the cult of the individual, as is known, 
have been expressed in certain serious mistakes in the leadership 
of different branches of Party and state activity, both in the 
internal life of the Soviet Union and in its foreign policy. In 
particular, serious mistakes made by Stalin can be indicated in 
the direction of agriculture, in the organization of the country’s 
preparedness to repulse the fascist invaders, the gross exercise 
of arbitrary power which led to the conflict in relations with 
Yugoslavia in the post-war period. These mistakes had a harm- 
ful effect on the development of certain aspects of the life of 
the Soviet state and hindered, particularly in the last years of 
J. V. Stalin’s life, the development of Soviet society. However, 
it is evident that they did not lead Soviet society away from the 
correct road of advance to Communism. 

Our enemies allege that the cult of Stalin was engendered 
not by certain historic conditions which have already become a 
thing of the past, but by the Soviet system itself, by what they 
claim to he its lack of democracy, etc. Such slanderous assertions 
are refuted by the whole history of the Soviet state. The Sov- 
iets, as a new democratic form of state power, grew out of the 
revolutionary work of the broad masses who rose to fight for 
freedom. They were and remain organs of true people’s power. 
It is precisely this Soviet system that made it possible to unleash 
the tremendous creative energy of the people. It set in motion the 
inexhaustible forces inherent in the people, drew millions of 
people into conscientious management of the state, into active 
creative participation in the construction of Socialism. In a 
historically short period the Soviet state emerged victorious from 
the most terrible ordeals, stood the test of fire of the Second 
World War. 

When the last exploiting classes had been liquidated in our 
country, when Socialism had become the system governing the 
whole national economy, and the situation of our country in 
relation to the world had changed radically, the bounds of So- 
viet democracy expanded enormously, and they continue to 
expand. In contrast to all kinds of bourgeois democracy, Soviet 


democracy not only proclaims hut materially guarantees to every 
member of society without exception the right to work, edu- 
cation, and rest, to participation in state affairs, to freedom of 
speech, of the press, of conscience, and also a real possibility 
of the free development of individual abilities and all other 
democratic rights and freedoms. The essence of democracy does 
not lie in its formal outward signs, the crux of the matter is 
whether jxditical power serves and reflects the will and the 
fundamental interests of the majority of the people, the interests 
of the working people. The entire internal and foreign policy 
of the Soviet state shows that our system is a trulv democratic, 
trulv a people’s system. The supreme aim of the Soviet state 
and its daily concern is to bring about the greatest possible im- 
provement in the living standards of the population, to ensure 
a life of i>eace for its people. 

An expression of the further development of Soviet de- 
mocracy is to be found in the Party and Government measures 
for the extension of the rights and authority of the Union Re- 
publics, the strict observance of law, the rearrangement of the 
system of planning in order to encourage local initiative, to 
make the local Soviets more active, to develop criticism and 

Notwithstanding the cult of the individual and in spite of it, 
the powerful initiative of the mass of the people led bv the 
Communist Party, the initiative brought into being by our sys- 
tem, continued to carry out its great historic task, overcoming 
all obstacles on the road to the construction of Socialism. And 
herein lies the highest expression of the democracy of the Soviet 
socialist system. The outstanding victories of Socialism in our 
country did not come alxait by themselves. They were achieved 
through the tremendous organizational and educative activity of 
the Party and of its local organizations, through the fact that 
the Party always educated its cadres and all Communists in the 
spirit of loyalty to Marxism-Leninism, in the spirit of devotion 
to the cause of Communism. The strength of Soviet society lies 
in the consciousness of the masses. Its historic destiny has 
l>een determined and is l>eing determined by the creative work of 
our heroic working class, of our glorious collective- farm peasan- 
try and people’s intelligentsia. 

In eradicating the consequences of the cult of the individual, 
restoring the Bolshevik rules of Party life, and developing so- 
cialist democracy, our Party has further strengthened its links 
with the masses, has rallied the masses still closer under the 
great banner of Lenin. 


The very fact that the Party itself courageously and openly 
raised the question of putting an end to the cult of the individual, 
of the impermissible mistakes made by Stalin, is convincing 
proof that the Party firmly defends Leninism, the cause of So- 
cialism and Communism, the observance of socialist law, and 
the interests of the peoples, and guarantees the rights of Soviet 
citizens. This is the best proof of the strength and vitality of 
the Soviet socialist system. At the same time it is evidence of 
the determination to overcome once and for all the consequences 
of the cult of the individual and to prevent the repetition of such 
mistakes in the future. 

Our Party’s condemnation of the cult of J. V. Stalin and 
its consequences has evoked approval and widespread comment 
in all the fraternal communist and workers’ parties. Pointing 
out the tremendous significance of the 20th Congress of the 
C.P.S.U. for the entire international Communist and labour 
movement, Communists in foreign countries regard the struggle 
against the cult of the individual and its consequences as a strug- 
gle for the purity of the principles of Marxism-Leninism, for a 
creative approach to the solution of the present-day problems of 
the international labour movement, for the consolidation and 
further development of the principles of proletarian interna- 

The statements of a number of fraternal communist parties 
approve and support the measures taken by our Party against the 
cult of the individual and its consequences. “Jenminjihpao”, 
organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of 
China, devoted an editorial to the conclusions drawn by the Po- 
litical Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party 
of China after discussion on the decisions of the 20th Congress 
of the C.P.S.U. Under the heading “On the Historic Ex]>erience 
of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat” the editorial said : — “The 
Communist Party of the Soviet Union, in keeping with Lenin’s 
behests, has taken a serious view of certain grave mistakes made 
by Stalin in the direction of socialist construction, and their con- 
sequences. In view of the seriousness of these consequences, it 
was necessary for the Communist Party of the Soviet Union to 
clearly reveal the essence of Stalin’s mistakes, while at the same 
time acknowledging the great merits of Stalin, and to call upon 
the whole Party to beware of any repetition of these mistakes 
and to resolutely uproot the unhealthy consequences resulting 
from them. We Communists of China are deeply convinced 
that after the sharp criticism which took place at the 20th Con- 
gress of the C.P.S.U.. all the active factors that were strongly 
restrained in the past owing to certain political errors, will with- 


out doubt be set in motion everywhere, and that the Commu- 
nist Party of the Soviet Union and the Soviet people will be 
rallied and united more than ever before in their struggle to 
build a great Communist society unprecedented in the history of 
the world, in the struggle for a stable peace throughout the 

“The merit of the leaders of the Communist Party of the 
Soviet Union”, reads the statement of the Political Bureau of 
the French Communist Party, “is that they undertook to correct 
the errors and faults associated with the cult of the individual, 
which proves the strength and unity of the great Party of Lenin, 
the confidence which it enjoys with the Soviet people, and also 
its prestige in the international labour movement.” 

Comrade Eugene Dennis, General Secretary of the National 
Committee of the Communist Party of the United States 
of America, referring to the tremendous significance of the 
20th Congress of the C.P.S.U.. states in an article: “The 20th 
Congress strengthened world peace and social progress. It 
marked a new stage in the advancement of Socialism and in the 
struggle for peaceful coexistence that began in Lenin’s days, con- 
tinued in the following years, and is becoming ever more effect- 
ive and successful.” 

At the same time it should be noted that in discussing the 
question of the cult of the individual, there is not always a 
correct interpretation of the causes of the cult of the individual 
and its consequences for our social system. For example, in 
Comrade Togliatti’s comprehensive and interesting interview to 
the magazine “Xuovi Argomenti”, besides the many very im- 
portant and correct conclusions, there are also wrong concepts. 
In particular, one cannot agree with Comrade Togliatli’s raising 
the issue of whether the Soviet society had not arrived at “certain 
forms of degeneration?” There is no ground for raising such 
an issue. It is the more difficult to understand since in another 
nart of his interview Comrade Togliatti quite correctly says: 

“The conclusion should be drawn that the essence of the 
socialist system was not lost, for none of the previous gains 
were lost, and. that is most important, nor was there any loss 
in the support of the system by the masses of workers, peasants 
and intellectuals, who form Soviet society. This very support 
shows that in spite of everything this society has preserved its 
fundamentally democratic nature.” 


Indeed, without the support of the broadest masses of the 
people for Soviet power and the policy of the Communist Party, 
our country would not have been able to create a mighty socialist 
industry, to bring about the collectivization of agriculture in an 
unprecedently brief period; it could not have won the Second 
World War, on whose outcome hung the fate of all mankind. As 
a result of the complete rout of hitlerism, Italian fascism and 
Japanese militarism, the forces of the communist movement have 
developed on a wide scale; the communist parties of Italy, 
France, and other capitalist countries, have grown and become 
mass parties; the people’s democratic system has been established 
in a number of European and Asian countries; the world system 
of Socialism has come into being and become consolidated ; the 
national-liberation movement, which has brought about the dis- 
integration of the colonial system of imperialism, has attained 
unprecedented successes. 


Unanimously approving the decisions of the 20th Congress 
of the C.P.S.U., which condemned the cult of the individual, 
the Communists and all the Soviet people, regard them as evi- 
dence of the growing power of our Party, of its Leninist prin- 
ciples, unity and solidarity. “The Party of the revolutionary 
proletariat”, V. I. Lenin pointed out, “is sufficiently strong to 
openly criticize itself, to bluntly call a mistake and a weakness 
a mistake and a weakness.” (Vol. XXI, p. 150, Russian edition). 
Guided by this Leninist principle our Party will continue to 
boldly disclose, to openly criticize and to resolutely eliminate 
mistakes and blunders in its work. 

The Central Committee of the C.P.S.U. considers that the 
work so far accomplished by the Party in overcoming the cult 
of the individual and its consequences has already yielded positive 

Proceeding from the decisions of the 20th Congress of the 
Communist Party, the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U. calls 
upon all Party organizations: 

Consistently to adhere in all our work to the most important 
principles of the teaching of Marxism-Leninism on the people as 
the makers of history, the creators of all the material and in- 
tellectual wealth of mankind, on the decisive role of the Marxist 
party in the revolutionary struggle for the transformation of 
society, for the victory of Communism ; 


persistently to continue the work conducted in recent years 
by the Central Committee of the Party to ensure the strictest 
observance by all Party organizations, from top to bottom, of 
the Leninist principles of Party leadership and primarily of the 
supreme principle of collective leadership, the observance of the 
rules of Partv life, as laid down in the Rules of our Party, of 
developing criticism and self-criticism. 

to fully restore the principles of Soviet socialist democracy 
expressed in the Constitution of the Soviet Union, to fully correct 
violations of revolutionary socialist law; 

to mobilize our cadres, all Communists and the broadest 
masses of the working people, to work for the practical realiza- 
tion of the targets of the Sixth Five-Year Plan, giving full 
rein to the creative initiative and energy of the masses — the 
true makers of history — to achieve this end. 

The 20th Congress of the C.P.S.U. pointed out that the 
most important feature of our epoch is the conversion of So- 
cialism into a world system. The most difficult period in the 
development and consolidation of Socialism now lies behind us. 
Our socialist countrv has ceased to be a lone island in an ocean 
of capitalist states. Today more than one-third of humanitv 
is building a new life under the banner of Socialism. The ideas 
of Socialism are winning over many millions of people in the 
countries of capitalism. The influence of the ideas of Socialism 
upon the peoples of Asia, Africa, and Latin America, who are 
fighting against all forms of colonialism, is tremendous. 

The decisions of the 20th Congress of the C.P.S.U. are 
regarded by all those who want peace and Socialism, by all demo- 
cratic and progressive circles, as an inspiring programme of 
struggle for the consolidation of peace throughout the world, for 
the interests of the working class, for the triumph of the cause 
of Socialism. 

Under present-day conditions, the communist parties and 
the whole international labour movement face broad inspiring 
prospects of working together with all peace-loving forces and 
preventing a new world war; of curbing the monopolies and 
ensuring lasting peace and the security of all the peoples; of 
putting an end to the arms race and lifting from the shoulders 
of the working people the heavy burden of taxation it brings 
with it ; of fighting for the preservation of the democratic rights 
and liberties which facilitate the workers’ struggle for a better 
life and a bright future. This is what the millions of ordinary 
j>eople of every country of the world are vitally interested in. 


The successful solution of these problems is facilitated to a tre- 
mendous degree by the peaceful policy and increasing successes 
of the Soviet Union, the Chinese People’s Republic, and all the 
other countries advancing along the road to Socialism. 

Under the new historical conditions, such international 
working-class organizations as the Comintern and the Comin- 
form have ceased their activities, but this does not mean at all 
that international solidarity has lost its significance and that there 
is no longer any need for contact among the fraternal revolu- 
tionary parties guided by the principles of Marxism-Leninism. 
At the present time, when the forces of Socialism and the in- 
fluence of socialist ideas have grown immeasurably throughout 
the world, when different paths to Socialism are being revealed 
in various countries, the Marxist working-class parties must, of 
course, preserve and consolidate their ideological unity and inter- 
national fraternal solidarity in the fight against the threat of a 
new war, in the fight against the anti-popular forces of monopoly 
capital, which attempt to suppress all revolutionary and progres- 
sive movements. The communist parties are welded together bv 
their great aim of freeing the working class from the yoke of 
capital, they are united by their loyalty to the scientific ideology 
of Marxism-Leninism and the spirit of proletarian international- 
ism, by selfless devotion to the interests of the people. 

In present-day conditions, all communist parties carry on 
their activity according to the national peculiarities and conditions 
of every country, expressing to the full the national interests of 
their people. At the same time, understanding that the struggle 
for the interests of the working class, for peace and the national 
independence of their countries is at the same time, the cause 
of the entire international proletariat, they consolidate their ranks 
and strengthen the links and co-operation among themselves. The 
ideological consolidation and fraternal solidarity of the Marxist 
parties of the working class in different countries are all the 
more necessary since the capitalist monopolies are creating their 
own agressive international alliances and blocs such as N.A.T.O. 
S.E.A.T.O., and the Bagdad Pact, directed against the peace- 
loving peoples, against the national-liberation movements, against 
the working class and the vital interests of the working people. 

While the Soviet Union has done much and is still doing 
much for the relaxation of international tension — and this is 
now recognized by everybody — American monopoly capital con- 
tinues to allocate large sums for stepping up subversive activities 
in the socialist countries. When the cold war was at its height, 


the American Congress, as is well known, officially earmarked ( in 
addition to the funds which are allotted unofficially) 100-million 
dollars for subversive activities in the Peoples Democracies 
and in the Soviet Union. Now that the Soviet l mon and the 
other socialist countries are doing everything to relax interna- 
tional tension, the “cold war proponents are trying once mote 
to whip up the “cold war” which has been condemned bv the 
people of the whole world. This is revealed bv the decision of 
the American Senate to appropriate an additional 25-million 
dollars for subversive activity — which is cynicalh called stimu- 
lating freedom” behind “the iron curtain . 

We must soberly appraise this fact and draw the necessary 
conclusions from it. It is clear, for instance, that the anti- 
popular riots in Poznan have been paid for from this fund. 
However, the provocateurs and the saboteurs, who were paid 
with monev from overseas, had only enough energy for a few 
hours. The working people of Poznan rebuffed these hostile 
ventures and provocations. The schemes of the dark knights of 
the “cloak and dagger” are bankrupt, their ugly provocation 
against the people's power in Poland has failed. All future 
attempts at subversive actions in the People's Democracies are 
similarly doomed, even though such actions are generouslv 
financed by funds assigned by the American monopolies. This 
money may be said to be spent in vain. 

All this serves to show that we must not allow ourselves to 
be heedless of the further designs of imperialist agents who 
are seeking to worm their way into socialist countries to do 
harm and undermine the achievements of the working people. 

The forces of imperialist reaction are seeking to divert 
the working people from the true road of struggle for their 
interests, to poison them with disbelief in the success of the 
cause of peace and Socialism. In spite of all the designs of the 
ideologists of the capitalist monopolies, the working class, headed 
by its tried Communist vanguard, will follow its own road, which 
has alreadv led to the historic conquests of Socialism and will 
lead to new victories in the cause of peace, democracy, and 
Socialism. There can be no doubt that the communist and 
workers’ parties of all countries will raise the glorious Marxist 
banner of proletarian internationalism still higher. 

The Soviet people are legitimately proud of the fact that 
our Motherland was the first to pave the way to Socialism. Now 
that Socialism has become a world system, now that fraternal 
co-operation and mutual assistance have been established among 


the socialist countries, new favourable conditions have been 
created for the flowering of socialist democracy, for the further 
consolidation of the material and industrial basis of Com- 
munism, for a steady rise in the living standards of the working 
]>eople and for the all-round development of the personality of 
the new man — the builder of Communist society. Let the bour- 
gois ideologists concoct fables about the “crisis” of Communism, 
about “dismay” in the ranks of communist parties. It is not the 
first time we have heard such incantations from our enemies. 
Their predictions have always burst like bubbles. These sorry 
prophets have come and gone while the communist movement 
and the immortal and life-giving ideas of Marxism-Leninism 
have advanced from victory to victory. So it will he in the 
future, too. No malicious slanderous outbursts of our enemies 
can stop the invincible historic march of mankind towards Com- 

Central Committee of the 
Communist Party of the Soviet Union 

June 30, 1956